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Why buy it when you can make it! #10: Dresser Rehab [Part 1] - 3 years of procrastination taking a toll & Microsoft Project to the rescue!

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Blog entry by paxorion posted 08-18-2014 01:53 AM 1137 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: First turning project - Cherry Pepper Mill [Part 2] Part 10 of Why buy it when you can make it! series Part 11: Dresser Rehab [Part 2] - HVLP Priming »

This project series will be documenting (hopefully) the end of 3 years of project procrastination.

When we found out we were having a girl (back in May 2011), my wife had this grand design vision of a modern vintage furniture theme in her room. One of the focal points she has been on the prowl for, was an old dresser to “upcycle”. Fast forward 2.5 years later (November 2013), she finally find a dresser on Craigslist that fits the design aesthetic she was looking for. After getting the dresser home, we find that the inside was in very bad condition, so I decided to gut the interior and save only the exterior for her to paint. I got as far as the gutting before I realized that I have zero personal motivation to work on the project, leaving it (any pretty much every project I start) in limbo.

About a week ago, I finally came to the realization that this project was a major woodworking motivation slump for me. I’m the type of person who wants to see what I start come to an acceptable level of completion before I am able to move on to the next thing. Because the project has been sitting in my basement for months, it was constant reminder that I simply had to get it done whenever in because I had simply had to get it done and over with so that I could move on with my woodworking life. After talking to my wife about it (best summarized as a whiny rant that went along the lines of this “we just need to make it a priority for me to get this project done”), I did what I know is a fool-proof way to get the project done: create a project plan. After firing up Microsoft Project, I got to work writing out 22 different steps/task and inserting all of the dependencies. Re-energized with the project, I got to work this weekend and knocked out 6 of those tasks. All in all, I’d say it was a productive weekend…

PS: To show how awesome my wife is, not only did she let me disappear 3 nights in a row to the shop, she also apologized for making me take on a project I didn’t necessarily want to take on, and that she hopes I’ll be able to learn something as a woodworking from it, beyond the tools she said I could buy to make the project go smoother.

-- paxorion



3 comments so far

View stefang's profile

stefang

13633 posts in 2087 days


#1 posted 08-18-2014 08:50 AM

What you have done here to plan your project is the way that any aspect of life can be planned. Complicated things are always made up of many small elements and once those elements are identified a step by step action plan can be formulated. A kind of road map leading to the desired destination. I often wonder why such a simple technique is not taught in school. Many could realize their dreams if they just knew how to use this simple but very effective planning method.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

870 posts in 798 days


#2 posted 08-18-2014 01:52 PM


What you have done here to plan your project is the way that any aspect of life can be planned. Complicated things are always made up of many small elements and once those elements are identified a step by step action plan can be formulated. A kind of road map leading to the desired destination. I often wonder why such a simple technique is not taught in school. Many could realize their dreams if they just knew how to use this simple but very effective planning method.

- stefang

Most of my before-9 to after-5ish work involves planning and managing execution. As you pointed out, it’s a shame planning isn’t taught in school. I will add however, that planning is more of a natural extension of some personalities than others (I am far more a planner than some of my relatives).

Despite my planning nature, I have tried to keep my woodworking hobby as stress-free as possible, which involves not treating it as rigorous and to a plan/schedule as possible. But when a project grows in scale, it’s hard to avoid it. Project plans can get very rigorous when you toss in dependencies, estimates, and start tracking progress. But that’s a discussion for a whole other forum. ;-)

-- paxorion

View stefang's profile

stefang

13633 posts in 2087 days


#3 posted 08-18-2014 02:07 PM

I can agree that planning can sometimes take some fun out of things or at least hinder creativity a little. I don’t plan my woodworking projects out too detailed as I almost always like to make changes/imrprovements underway.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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